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An up dat on I am confused !
May 14, 2007

Hey Bob, I writing you to ask one last question as well as let you know to result of my story. I have been plagued with fears of HIV infection for 11 months now. I posted a question some time ago let you answered, under I am confused title. You most like do not remember. Thank you! Stressed with all sorts of symptoms ranging from red pimple like growths on my chest to muscle aches (I still have muscle aches even now), white tongue, rashes, swollen glands, stomach cramps. Well you know the list! I have spent so much money and time trying to find out what was wrong, and of course was convinced that I had HIV contacted after having vigorous sex with a Asian girl. My private doctor seemed repulsed by the whole thing offering no help what so ever. Only that I should test and believe the results! I searched the web for answers and found this site. Thank you so much for your work here you are for me a hero! The web is not a good place to look for information on HIV! So many sites offer just flat out wrong information, and whats the F-cking deal with people trying to make a buck off people scared of HIV infection. That my friend is sick! I saw the same HIV specialist I saw before just last week to get the results of 21 different blood tests he took including a CD4 count. My CD4 count was 1581 or 58% ? (I not sure what that means) He said that after my many negative rapid tests, EIA tests, PCR DNA tests out to 10 months from exposure and a CD4 count of 1581 I can be 99.999% sure HIV is not my problem. It is more likely to be hit by lightening then me having HIV. According to him a person with HIV infection would not have a CD4 count of 1581 after 10 months of infection. WooooHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact he said the count is a bit high, which leads to my questions, Is it true a person infected for 10 months untreated their counts would have a lowers count? If my count seems high to you what might (knowing you can not diagnose over the internet) be my problem? As I said I have really bad muscle aches all most all the time now! Yes, I have been checked for diabetes, negative on that front. Lastly I would like to say to all those worried wells like me, STOP WORRYING! I am glad this ordeal is over! I still worry from time to time about it, asking myself , is it true I am not going to die from HIV? I see a shrink now which helps but the thing that helps the most is telling myself I done all that I can to protect myself and the ones I love I can do nothing more than that. Staying safe , meaning practice safe sex! NO bag NO ride ! Lastly, lastly I want to personally thank you for you help, you are a inspiration to me. You have been my strength when I thought I was not going to make it because of the serious depression I went through over all this. To the point of contemplating suicide. But now I choose to believe the science and live free of this worry! You have a friend always in me, you need anything ever you let me know. PS. I will donate to your foundation ASAP! Thanks again!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Thanks for the update!

I'll make a couple of quick comments.

1. If your doctor "seemed repulsed . . . and offered no help whatsoever . . . ," it's time you found a more competent and compassionate physician!

2. Regarding your workup, 21 different blood tests sound excessive! Personally I would not recommend obtaining a T-cell subset analysis (CD4 count, CD4%, etc.), unless there was a reason to do so, such as being definitively HIV positive! Your 1581 absolute CD4 count and 58% are normal. I would state with absolute certainty that you are HIV negative. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

3. I'm glad you are getting counseling and that it is helping!

4. WOO-HOO!

5. I continue to stand by all of my comments and advice given in response to your original post. (See below.)

Thanks for you donation (www.concertedeffort.org).

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

I am confused Apr 28, 2007

I am very confused! I recently sought the advise of a HIV specialist AAA HIV MD certified one after having 10 months of assorted symptoms correlative to HIV infection despite multiply negative tests for HIV. I wanted to put this fear to bed once and for all. I have asked you Bob many times for advice but realize you are a very busy guy. I love your work and have found you to be a comfort through this ordeal! Anyway, the doctor said to me that if I contracted HIV 10 months ago, untreated my life span would be measure in months 18-22, not years. That 10 months of untreated HIV infection I would have lost significant weight, unchecked thrush and lots of symptoms not the vague, white tongue, muscles aches, itchy skin, herpes break outs about every 45 days, ect. I suffer from now. Is this true? I read here of people who are + and not knowing for years, one post wrote he was + with low viral load counts and high CD4 count for ten + years no meds. I am confused!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I would have to respectfully disagree with the information you received from that doctor. Perhaps you misunderstood what he was saying. If not, I'd suggest you find a new HIV specialist.

Multiple negative HIV tests out to 10 months are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

The usual natural history of untreated HIV infection is as follows: (1) viral transmission followed 2-3 weeks later by (2) acute retroviral syndrome followed 2-3 weeks later by (3) seroconversion and the recovery from ARS symptoms followed 2-3 weeks later by (4) an asymptomatic chronic phase that can persist for 8-10 years followed by (5) symptomatic HIV infection/AIDS. Death usually occurs 1-2 years later.

Remember this is "untreated." With current treatment, including HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) and prophylaxis and treatment of opportunistic infections, the life expectancy has been greatly extended. Just how far we don't know, because these potent new therapies haven't been around long enough for us to know. I, for one, plan on dying of old age, not HIV.

Returning to your situation, whatever is causing your problems, one thing is certain: it's not HIV, OK? You can discuss my reply with your doctor. If indeed he is a certified HIV specialist, I strongly doubt he'll disagree.

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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